Central Nervous System Lymphoma in HIV Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Feb 13, 2018
  • Author: Florian P Thomas, MD, PhD, MA, MS; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

CNS toxoplasmosis is the most important differential. A solitary mass is usually primary CNS lymphoma; toxoplasmosis usually manifests as multiple lesions, but single lesions occur in a significant minority of toxoplasmosis cases. CNS lymphoma is the most common space-occupying lesion associated with AIDS. CNS lymphoma is less common than toxoplasmosis, but because of the difficulty in differentiating the 2 conditions clinically and radiologically, both need to be considered in the differential diagnosis of CNS space-occupying lesions in AIDS.

Diagnostic considerations also include the following:

  • Brainstem syndromes

  • Myelopathy

  • Cluster headache

  • Meningioma

  • Glioblastoma multiforme

Differential Diagnoses